Complaint against Cape councilman referred to Sheriff’s Office
A complaint alleging a Cape Coral councilman took money for a construction project but failed to perform the work has been referred to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Property Crimes unit.
The State Attorney’s Office, which had received the complaint concerning Councilmember Eric Grill in December, sent a letter to Lt. Shawn Ramsey on Dec. 30, asking the Sheriff’s Office to “review the complaint, and take what action, if any, is dictated by the results of that review.”
No charges have been filed.
Referral to another agency is not uncommon, said Samantha Syoen, spokesperson for the State Attorney’s Office.
“It is not uncommon for us to refer a matter for review to another agency,” she said today. “The State Attorney’s Office basically acted as a conduit in this matter.”
Additional comment was referred to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
“Any further comment in this matter will come from the Sheriff’s Office as the matter has now been referred to them,” Syoen said.
The Sheriff’s Office confirmed it has received the complaint.
“Yes, we are in receipt of what was forwarded by the State Attorney’s Office and we will investigate and give them any findings,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Tony Schall. “They can then determine what to do, if anything.”
Grill declined comment this morning.
“There’s nothing to comment on until something comes back to me,” Grill said, when reached by phone.
Lisa Johnson, owner of Tropical Twisters Gymnastics, filed the complaint with the Cape Coral Police Department, stating Grill took money for a construction project but had not paid subcontractors for the initial work on the project.
Johnson said she contracted with Grill’s company, Grand Cape Construction, for a new 7,000-square-foot gymnasium in North Cape Coral for $800,000 in November 2007.
Johnson said she gave Grill an initial $3,500 payment in February, another $3,500 payment for builder’s risk insurance in May, and Partners Bank tendered a $46,000 payment to Grand Cape Construction in June. Two months later, Johnson became suspicious when Grill stopped returning her phone calls.
“About August I stopped hearing back from him,” Johnson said in an earlier interview.
In November, Honc Construction issued Johnson a lien notice for $20,000 of clearing work done in September and authorized by Grand Cape Construction. Johnson said Grill never paid Honc.
Johnson fired Grill in December, and she has since hired Hammer Construction to build her new gym.